The Clare Tourism Recovery Taskforce, a business group comprising representatives of the Clare tourism and hospitality sector, has warned that almost 9,000 tourism jobs could be lost in County Clare this year
In an Open Letter to Taoiseach Micheal Martin, the Taskforce is requesting urgent Government supports to Shannon Airport.
The group says the decision by Delta and United Airlines not to resume flights from Shannon Airport in 2021 and the potential transfer of Aer Lingus aircraft serving routes to the US and UK away from Shannon Airport will have “significant and long-lasting negative consequences” for the tourism sector across County Clare and the wider Mid-West Region.
“In Clare, tourism makes a vital economic contribution to our local economy. Up until recently, it supported 12,000 jobs and generated €266m in local tourism revenues annually. An estimated 8,800 tourism jobs in Clare (nearly 75%) are now at risk this year.
“We are calling for Government to implement fully the recommendations of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce in support of economic recovery and tourism, and to outline how it intends to deliver targeted supports to Shannon Airport to support the retention of services offering key international connectivity to North America and the UK.
“We also echo calls by the Chambers of Commerce in Ennis, Galway, Shannon and Limerick for Government to align the Regional Airports Programme with EU criteria so that both Shannon can access capital supports.
“Without urgent Government intervention and the delivery of direct support to Shannon Airport and the wider aviation industry, the future viability and success of the Clare tourism sector will experience significant unemployment and the loss of a hard earned reputation as an accessible and inviting visitor destination,” adds the group in its Open Letter to Government.